Design innovation underlies tableware’s resurgence, says report

The popularity of china as a gift, the sales potential of distinctive design, and consumers’ appreciation of quality are all contributing to a positive outlook for tableware.

Design innovation underlies tableware’s resurgence, says report

That’s the conclusion of Mintel’s new report on the UK china and earthenware market, which estimates that the market is now worth £555m, up by 13% on 2003, or 6% in real terms.

It says that the key factors driving tableware are growing style in the home, accelerated new product design, the growth of gift purchases and an increasing demand for higher quality.

The report finds a strong resurgence in patterned tableware and other distinctive designs such as asymmetrical shapes. And it points out that there is a growing choice of products across all price points, boosting impulse purchase in general. Gift buying for both adults and children is a significant part of this.

Market leader Wedgwood Group accounts for an estimated 18% of total sales, says Mintel, with the next five largest companies – Denby, Villeroy & Boch, Royal Worcester/Spode, Churchill China and Portmeirion – taking 15% between them.

Below these six companies the market is highly fragmented. Own-label products are substantial, accounting for over a third of market value, and thriving.

The report finds that there are good grounds for optimism in the market, thanks to consumers’ demand for quality, the strength of china as a gift and the sales potential of distinctive design. There has been a return to real value growth, it says, but adds that design innovation remains crucial.

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